What a Google Internet of Things OS Would Mean for the IT Industry

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-05-26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What a Google Internet of Things OS Would Mean for the IT Industry
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    What a Google Internet of Things OS Would Mean for the IT Industry

    By Don Reisinger
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    Google Has the Resources to Make It Happen
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    Google Has the Resources to Make It Happen

    At a market value of nearly $369 billion and with plenty of cash available, Google has all the resources at hand to develop an IoT OS. The move would be a natural, and even an inevitable, one for the company that has had such a big influence on the growth of the Internet, cloud computing and mobile devices. All Google has to do is say it is going to develop an IoT OS and all the other players in this market will have to pay close attention and weigh how this move will affect their own plans.
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    The Internet of Things Is Still in Its Early Growth Stages
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    The Internet of Things Is Still in Its Early Growth Stages

    One of the nice things about Google getting into the IoT space now is that it can be an early mover. The IoT industry is just starting to gain momentum. Many companies are in the early stages of plotting out their IoT product and go-to-market strategies. By getting in now, Google will still be on the ground floor of what promises to be a monster industry.
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    There Are Many Players, but No Dominant Ones Yet
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    There Are Many Players, but No Dominant Ones Yet

    As of this writing, there is no single company that has taken hold of the Internet of things market. Better yet for Google, the space is set to explode. By 2020, research firm IDC believes that IoT market revenue will exceed $3 trillion. Another research firm, Gartner, says that 26 billion connected devices will ship in 2020. That's a grand opportunity for a company that wants to have software running on all those products.
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    Android Has to Have an Important Role
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    Android Has to Have an Important Role

    In order for Google to be successful in the IoT space, the company should provide an Android tie-in with its platform. Android developers are looking for an easy way to port their applications across products. If Google can build its IoT platform on Android, they can achieve that goal without too much effort.
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    Google Already Has 'Smart' Home Products
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    Google Already Has 'Smart' Home Products

    One of the nice things for Google is that it's already somewhat successful in the IoT space. The company last year acquired Nest, a smart thermostat maker, for $3.2 billion. That company is now operating under the Google umbrella and has taken on other IoT tasks. Google already seems to understand IoT, which will only help the company.
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    The Competition Will Be Fierce
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    The Competition Will Be Fierce

    Make no mistake about it: Google needs to be ready for fierce competition when its operating system hits devices. Huawei, a Chinese and mobile telecommunications company, has already announced an IoT operating system called LiteOS. Cisco, Intel and others are looking to get into the market. Google will have plenty of competition if it jumps into the market with an IoT OS.
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    It Means Apple Must Respond
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    It Means Apple Must Respond

    Apple will have no choice but to respond to Google at its own Worldwide Developers Conference next month. Rumors abound that Apple is working on an IoT initiative, and the company will want to show that it can keep pace with Google and anybody else in this market. Apple will also want to provide an application marketplace for IoT that would compete with Google's option. In any event, look for Apple and Google to square off in IoT.
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    Google Finds Another Entry Into Your Home
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    Google Finds Another Entry Into Your Home

    One of the important reasons Google is making a play for IoT is that it wants to find ways into your home. The company already has Google Fiber and has been working on building out its Nest product. By getting Android or something like it on your refrigerator, furnace, washer and dryer, and more, the company will have infiltrated the home market and given itself another opportunity to sell advertising to anyone who wants to sell modern appliances and electronic equipment to homeowners.
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    Google's Entry Would Be a Stamp of Approval for IoT
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    Google's Entry Would Be a Stamp of Approval for IoT

    The introduction of a Google IoT would be the final proof that IoT is for real. If Google is prepared to invest heavily in IoT technology, then all other players will invest with greater confidence. Google's entry might also help make consumers—the ultimate buyers of IoT technology—more aware of the technology's potential and more willing to buy products with IoT connections.
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    It's Another Chance for Google to Diversify Its Business
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    It's Another Chance for Google to Diversify Its Business

    Google still gets the lion's share of its revenue and profits from search and Web advertising. But getting into the IoT space will provide another way for the company to diversify its business. It has already launched so many new ventures, from Android handsets to Chrome OS, cloud business applications and now, Internet of things. Google's bread and butter will remain search and ads, but IoT could prove to be another important new market for Google.
 

Plenty of rumors are flying with Google I/O 2015 scheduled to convene May 28 and 29 at Moscone Center West in San Francisco. There is talk about a new version of Android and some new related hardware. But easily the most intriguing rumor to surface during the run-up to the show has been a claim that the company is working on an Internet of things (IoT) operating system. The report suggests that the operating system would be designed for a wide range of Web-connected products and make Google a player in several markets. At first blush, the idea sounds like a good one, and it's hardly surprising. Google has shown that it will invest a lot of development resources to play a big role in important new technology sectors. The successful development of the Android mobile OS, the Chrome browser and Chrome OS has demonstrated that. But if the reports of a Google IoT OS pan out, it will be interesting to see exactly what Google's plans for the OS are and what the impact could be on the networking industry. This slide show looks at why Google might be making this move and what it could mean for the IT industry in general.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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